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St. Patrick's Day recipes bring luck of the Irish into the kitchen

Celebrate March 17 with food and drink
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day, and in addition to celebrating gold at the end of rainbow, leprechauns and all things green, that means it’s time for some good Irish food.

It also signals a day of green beer at some establishments, while others, like World Pub in North Auburn, will steer clear of the food coloring and instead serve popular Irish stouts like Guinness and Murphy’s. 

“One of the reasons people are not feeling well the next day is they drink a lot of green beer,” said Eric Nordby, owner. “We think people should be drinking Irish stouts.”

Nordby said the day begins at 6 a.m., when the doors open for free green eggs and ham and a day of food, drink and the annual darts tournament.

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will wind its way to Old Town starting at 5:17 p.m. Saturday. It will end at the California Club, where there will be free corned beef and cabbage to eat, along with green beer and Jell-o shots for sale, for people 21 and over.

For those opting for a quiet Paddy’s Day, Auburn chefs have offered up their favorite Irish-inspired recipes. Joanne Neft, co-author of the “Placer County Real Food” cookbook, shared a recipe for corned beef and cabbage, along with some words of advice:

“The slower and longer you slow-simmer the corned beef, the more tender it will be. Oftentimes people simmer the meat on boil and it quickly turns into jerky. A crockpot works perfectly, or the very lowest setting on your stove top. Don’t rush it. As well, be sure to serve with some excellent selections of mustard.”

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Corned Beef with German Butterball Potatoes, Carrots and Cabbage

From Joanne Neft and Laura Kenny, “Placer County Real Food.”

6 cups water
¾ cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup pickling spices
6 pounds beef brisket
1 pound carrots, quartered
Two large onions, quartered
4 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 pounds carrots, peeled and quartered
One and a half heads cabbage, each half sliced into three pieces

Combine water, salt, sugar and spices in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Poke several holes in the brisket and place in a large plastic bag or bowl with lid. Pour brine over meat, completely submerging. Refrigerate for five to seven days.

Preheat oven to 200. Remove beef from brine and place in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan with lid. Add quartered onions and carrots and enough water to cover. Cover and simmer meat until tender, two to three hours. Skim off any foam.

Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and place on a pan in oven to keep warm. Remove and discard carrots and onions. Place potatoes in cooking liquid and bring to boil. Turn down heat and cook until tender. Remove potatoes and add carrots. Simmer five minutes and add cabbage. Cook until both are done, remove.

Place potatoes in a serving bowl; the carrots and cabbage together in another; slice the beef, arrange on a plate and spoon some of the cooking liquid over it. Serve with dill, Dijon mustard or German brown mustard.

Francois’ Shepherd Pie

Francois Bonnefoi, of Auburn, is a chef and artist who spent years cooking aboard cruise ships, traveling the world.

1½ pound shredded beef, corned beef or prime rib, cooked
One large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon diced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup cooked diced carrots
1 cup cooked corn
1 cup cooked green peas
2 pounds mashed potatoes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fresh cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped parsley

Sauté onions in garlic in oil with meat. Spread mixture on bottom of casserole dish. Spread carrots, corn and peas on top. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and parsley. Spread mashed potatoes over.  Pour cream over; sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees or until golden brown.